Mission Trip Report- June 6-14, 2011

Overall Missions Goal: Serve God’s beloved poor.

Mission Focuses:
   1. Continue to build sister parish relationship and understand current status of ongoing projects.
   2. Provide health care for the people of our sister parish in the following ways:
       a. Run medical clinic/pharmacy and provide the best possible medical care to the greatest number possible.
       b. Run dental clinic and provide cleanings, restoration, and extractions.
       c. Create ID cards for patients for best possible patient tracking.
       d. Improve blood pressure program patient tracking by more effective means of identifying the blood pressure program patients at the point of entry into the clinic.
       e. Provide training to patients on the subjects of Cholera, Blood Pressure, Hand washing, Eating Well, Tooth brushing, and Malnutrition, as they wait on the benches outside
           ​of clinic for their turn in clinic through Creole training videos made by an organization called Better Health for Haiti.
       f. Continue with our referral program and referral patient tracking which provides the support for the people in our sister parish to get health care in the cities of Jacmel or
           ​Port-au-Prince when we are not in Haiti.
       g. Transport emergency cases from Gandou to the cites of Jacmel and Port-au-Prince using our truck.
   3. Provide opportunity for our team to experience Haiti and especially our sister parish.

Focus Area #1 - Sister Parish Relationship/Status of Ongoing Projects
Earthquake Rebuilding/Construction projects
   1. Much progress has been made. Only remaining things left are a little finish work on the walls, the metal roof, and the floor.
   2. Fully expect to be done in July.
   3. The delay was caused by the lack of rain which made it impossible to mix the cement without water, then later there was too much rain and they were not able to work.
   4. When we were there they were working on the school and making good progress.
   5. Supplies have been coming to Gandou on a very large two axel dump truck. It showed up in Gandou when we were there. I can’t believe it can make it up the mountain hills.
   6. Total for the school was $35,139. This is all paid for.
   7. Father put us in contact with the Canadian family that helped with the funding of the first school in Gandou. I now have his email and phone number. We have started
       ​talking. He said he would like to coordinate our efforts in Gandou. I totally agree. We will see if we can work together.


   1. PROCHE – Catholic Church’s Organization of the Rebuilding Efforts in Haiti. This is the organization that was formed by Catholic Relief serves and the Catholic Church.
       ​They have the money that was collected by the Catholic Church to help in Haiti after the earthquake.
   2. Father had a meeting with the Bishop on June 17. Bishop said that Father needs to submit the plans for the Church construction to PROCHE and they will approve or deny
       ​the construction project. Father showed us the plans which details how the Church will look after it is rebuilt. The document included only basic dimensions. Father also has
       ​the plans for what it will cost and the materials that are planned to be used. PROCHE is checking the plans to see there is enough materials listed to prove the building will
       ​be anti-seismic.
   3. Father said once he gives the plans to PROCHE the approval or disapproval will come right away.
   4. If PROCHE says yes then Father can start the construction right away.
   5. If PROCHE says no then Father has to talk to the Bishop and the Bishop decides if they should start or not.
   6. Until now PROCHE has not said if they will help us with the costs of rebuild the Church or not. We are hopeful.
   7. Father said to wait on PROCHE would take too long. They have a big need now in Gandou for a Church. Father needs to get the school kids out of the tents. Needs to get a
       ​Church for mass. When it rains everything has to stop and people get wet.
   8. Father give us the picture of what the school would look like when completed including the basic dimensions.
   9. Father said if we start without PROCHE and can’t finish because we run out of money, we can at that point ask PROCHE to help us find the money to finish.

Two Homes Earthquake Rebuilding Pilot Project
   1. They are working on the homes we sent money to rebuild after earthquake.
   2. Expects one of them to be done very soon, it just needs doors yet.
   3. Second home they are building the walls.
   4. Construction is slow because the leader is busy with so many other projects.
   5. One of the homes is right next to the rectory.
   6. We took pictures of this one. Seems nice.
   7. Father said they will both be completely done before Christmas.
   8. Father still wants us to kick off a home building project because many of the poorest people did not get a UNOPS home.
   9. Father has started using the $471 donated from Sister Fran to help rebuild one of the health care worker (Xavier’s) home.
 10. The other health care worker (Francois) got an UNOPS home.

UNOPS Earthquake Homes Rebuilding
   1. UNOPS is done rebuilding homes in Gandou.
   2. They built 221 homes.
   3. Father said the decision who gets one is political.

Clinic Construction

   1. Don’t need to wait on the Church to be started or completed to start on a construction project for a new clinic.
   2. Father could start right now if we have the money.
   3. Church needs the Bishop’s approval but the clinic don’t.
   4. Father’s plan is to build a new clinic at the same location where the current one is.
   5. Would need to drop the current one (will not take much to do that).
   6. Father is fine with two or more construction projects at one time.
   7. Father said it is possible to build the clinic in about one year if he has the money.
   8. Father asked us to also think about a fence around it.
   9. Father asked that the clinic include a living quarters and bathroom for the nurse to have a place to stay (when they get a nurse).
 10. We estimate that we need about $40,000US to build.
 11. We talked about places to build this clinic.
 12. Father said the best place is the field that we played soccer on one time on the road just before you get to the rectory, but the owner of the field said they can’t sell it. They
       ​said it is the only place they have to grow beans and other stuff to eat for themselves and others.
 13. Father will keep working with them.
 14. Father said we might be able to buy for about $750/Centium. Father says there are about 8 centium in this field. Therefore about $6,000 for the field. We told him we think
       ​that is a fair price. We would really like to build the clinic in a “flat” spot like this.
 15. Father said that there is more room by the current clinic that belongs to the Church than we realize. He said there are more than 5 centium left after where the clinic currently
       ​is. He said it goes behind the house that is down from the current clinic. Not sure I understand this.
 16. Father said if they will not sell the soccer field then we can use this area by the current clinic.
 17. We told him that we are thinking about a big clinic that would include rooms for a dental clinic and he seemed to understand.

School in Gandou
   1. Father reported that once the new classrooms are finished he will need more tables/benches for the kids to sit. He said they would need 16. Need these before September
       ​when school starts. We helped build 28 last time which cost $1500 US. We saw them in use and I can’t image how they could have school without them.
   2. We tried to figure out a better way to get information on the sponsor students. Father said he knew how to open a file that was attached to an email, but he did not know how
        ​to re-attach and resend. I showed him how to do this. We would like to send him an Excel file with the students names/sponsors on it and we would like him to fill in any of
        ​the blanks and send back to us. We are going to try this before the next trip.
   3. We took some toys and supplies with us for the school. Father had asked for them last time. Father seemed to like them and seemed to think they were the right kind of stuff.
        ​I believe the next day the teachers had the materials and were using them.
   4. Father said we can bring more toys on the next trip.

High School/LaVallee House (House we are renting in a nearby city that has a high school so the 14 kids from Gandou can go to high school.)
   1. This is working very well.
   2. High school students are very happy.
   3. One is also the cook in Gandou when we are there. She seems to love school.
   4. Father still working on putting together the list of ages and grades.
   5. Father is also going to have the students write a letter to their sponsors.
   6. Highest grade of the student in LaVallee is 11 of 13 grades.

University Kids Project(Sending Kids done with High School to University)
   1. Father asked for a project to send kids to University after high school.
   2. Currently after kids finish High School typically can’t go to the University even if they want to and are smart enough to (because they can’t afford to go).
   3. Father said he had several kids in the area that are ready to go to University.
   4. Father gave us a list of names. He has 3 boys that want to become teachers. Ages range from 24-27 years old. They are ready to start at University any time if they could get
   5. One of the boys is the son of the health care worker that we know and love (Francois).
   6. Father has one girl that wants to study nursing at the University. She is 25. She is the daughter of the other health care worker (Xavier). If she is anything like Xavier she will
       ​be great. We really need to figure out a way to send here to University.
   7. We are very excited about the potential of sending these students to University.
   8. Teachers would study in Port-au-Prince
   9. Nurse would study in Jacmel.
 10. Cost is about $2,000 per year for tuition.
 11. $1,000 additional for expense (food, books, uniforms, living).
 12. Father said they would do at least 2 years of service in Gandou after they are done to pay us back for helping them through school. More is possible.
 13. Must know by late July or Early August if we can do this so they can get the kids signed up and ready to start school.
 14. Both the nursing and the teaching programs are 4 year programs.

Clinic/Health Care Workers
   1. We spent a large amount of time talking through the referral program.
   2. It is very clear that the referral program is working well now.
   3. The health workers have reduced the number of people in our referral program by about 20 since the last trip.
   4. Of these 20 not all received care….many received care, but some refused care, or moved away, or died.
   5. After the earthquake the costs of the referral program went down because the hospital did not charge. Now they charge so the costs of the program are going to go up.
   6. They are training two more health workers. These two new health care workers spend the week in our clinic helping us. One of them helped in the dental clinic all work and
        ​was a very hard worker. The second spend the week helping in the medical clinic with crowd control and with helping sort out the blood pressure program patients.
   7. When we come in the winter the two new health care workers will be fully trained and it will be time to start paying them. If it is possible to send something between now
       ​and then it would be great.
   8. We sat down with the health workers and reviewed the status of every patient in the referral database. They had marked the status on every page (all 180 some patients).
   9.  At the end of the week I pulled out the about 20 done patients and added about 50 more for the week.
 10. When we got back from our trip we updated all our referral patients in the database and printed off 4 copies. One for each of the three health workers and one for father. We
       ​sent these with Father when he went back to Haiti on July 11 after his visit to the USA.
 11. While having clinic during this trip there was a rat on the shelves in the pharmacy. We ran him off and did not see him again.
 12. Need to bring tubs with lids next time to put clinic supplies in to keep the mice and rats out of them.

Training Video Program

   1. We showed short DVD training videos (in Creole) to the patients as they waited for clinic.
   2. Training videos were produced by an organization called Better Health for Haiti.
   3. Video contain catchy songs that help train the viewers and interviews of Haitian doctors, nurses, and professionals that explain different health care topics.
   4. These videos covered the subjects of Choleria, Blood Pressure, Hand washing, Eating Well, Tooth brushing, and Malnutrition.
   5. We left the DVD player with father and asked him to talk to the teachers in the school and let them use the DVD player in the school to train the kids.
   6. The thought being that the sooner the kids know about this health stuff the better. Likely they will go home and teach their families. If we can get the next generation trained
       ​on health care matters, our future work there will be easier.
   7. Very important for people to start to know that once you have high blood pressure you have it for life (for example).
   8. Also told father that the health care workers might want to take the DVD player with them out when they go to visit a patient or a group of patients in the blood pressure
       ​program. This video on high blood pressure is very effective.
   9. Could also use the DVD to play to a larger group of adults after mass for example.

Full Time Nurse Project
   1. Father talked to the leader of Caritas in Jacmel. This person lead him to a nurse who did not yet have a job. She is interested in coming and staying in Gandou as a full time
   2. She is coming to visit Gandou soon to check it out.
   3. She wants $425/month or $5100/year. Not yet sure if this would be for 12 months or not or if there would be some time off where she would not be paid.
   4. We did a little research by talking to another parish that does this and they said they paid their nurse more like $4,000/year. However that area is easier to get to than Gandou
        ​and it is very likely that their nurse if from the area anyway. Therefore it likely makes sense that they would not need to pay as much.
   5. This nurse can’t drive the truck…not yet sure how this would work…I told Father that I would not want a nurse that can’t take patients down with the truck, but he told us
        ​that there may not be any nurses out there that can drive a truck to Gandou….it is a very difficult road.
   6. We need a house for her to stay. Father said there is one home in Gandou that is not being used. He said we could rent it. He said the rental costs would be $150/year (WOW
        ​this is cheap!)
   7. Father says there is no place in the rectory for her to stay.
   8. Father asked that we create a list of things that we think the nurse should be able to do.
   9. We should consider making a contract with her to sign with the list of responsibilities so it is clear what everyone is expecting.

Economic Growth in Gandou

   1. Talked to Father about getting people in Gandou to start making things that could be brought back to the USA to be sold to generate some income for the people there.
   2. We talked about the kinds of souvenirs we thought we could sell (type of stuff sold at the Matthew 25 Guest house that we stay at in Port-au-Prince).
   3. Father said there is only one person in Gandou that he knows that can make stuff like this.
   4. Father showed us something this person made. It was a very nice cup.
   5. Father said he would talk to this person.
   6. Father said the school kids/teachers could not make anything like this yet.
   7. Father later said that he is having this person come to school and teach the kids how to make stuff like this.
   8. Father also said it would be possible to use some of the card-stock we went to have the school kids start making cards which could be sold. The kids can just draw a
       ​flower/trees/Christmas seen, cross ect on it.
   9. Father is going to have them get started on this but school is out now so will not be until next school year.

LaVallee High School Kids House Possible Use for Surgery Mission Trip Summer 2012
   1. Father said the house is rented all year for the school kids, but in the summer school is not in session and is available to us if we want to use it for something else.
   2. Father said we could use the house in the summer for a place for either patients or doctors/team members if we do a surgery trip in the Summer of 2012 in LaVallee.
   3. However Father does not think the team would like it there. He is not sure it is nice enough, but I think it would be.

   1. The internet had been broken for a long period of time and that is why father has not been able to communicate with us very much before the trip.
   2. Father reported that he had to have something fixed on it. Sounds like the technician could not come (because of the bad road) and then the technician finally talked Father
       ​through fixing it. Sounds like there was a reset button that had to be pushed as well.
   3. Everything is fine now and working well.
   4. Father understood our desire to communicate often and will do the best he can when the internet is working.

Magic Jack/Vonage
   1. We took the Vonage device with us.
   2. Since we were delayed on the trip to Gandou (due to the rain) we did not have much time to work with the Vonage device while we were in Gandou.
   3. We left it with Father and asked him to check it and then bring either the Magic Jack or the Vonage back with him when he came to the USA for his visit in July. He said he
   4. When he came in July he said that he did not have the correct plug ends to try the Vonage. We talked it through one more time and told him that the donor is paying for both
       ​and will not keep paying for both. Father needs to let us know very soon which one he wants.
   5. Father said he needed more plug ends for network cables in order to use the Vonage. We found him a 4 port wireless router and he was going to take that to Gandou and try
       ​the Vonage and let us know.
   6. Father said he would work on this first thing when he gets back and let us know.
   7. Great news….cell phone almost work in Gandou now. Someone must have put up a tower somewhere somewhat close to Gandou. We found if you go to a certain spot close
       ​to the rectory you can get a signal. I found a signal and called Dr. Stephanie’s husband in the USA. It worked for me. This will greatly reduce the need for the Magic
       ​Jack/Vonage. During the trips the translators should be able to use their cell phones to make their calls.